Hello there beautiful people, I hope you’re all doing well. 🙃
I often run polls and ask what you’d like to see more of from me over on my Instagram and Facebook stories and more often than not, I get requests for very quick healthy meals. Now I love LOVE love to cook, but most days, I too am very pressed for time so my meals tend to be quite quick and easy because I need to get on to the next thing on the agenda.
So, here are some of my current fave dinners that take just minutes to put together – let’s dive right in.
Polenta With Mushroom and Feta
I recently found out that I LOVE polenta – this is not something I had ever really eaten regularly or something we had at home growing up, but I recently was looking for something a bit different to try and bought a packet of polenta. It’s super quick and easy to cook and absolutely delicious if you flavor it nicely. If you’ve never tried it, the consistency is similar to mashed potatoes (which I love). Here’s my fave way of cooking it…
1 cup polenta
4 cups water
300 grams (oyster) mushrooms
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoons olive oil
chili flakes (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Start by cooking you mushrooms; slice your oyster mushrooms (or any mushrooms you prefer) and finely chop garlic. To a large pan on medium heat, add butter, garlic and chili flakes (if using). Once garlic is fragrant, add your sliced mushrooms. Cook for a few minutes until browned, tender and fragrant. Season with salt and pepper and add some finely chopped parsley on top – take off heat and set aside.
Now, add you polenta and water to a pot over medium to low heat. Season with salt and stir continuously while cooking; around 5 minutes. Once all the water has been absorbed and a nice thick consistency has formed, remove from heat and stir in the olive oil. This will make the polenta really silky.
Just transfer polenta to a plate, top with your mushroom mixture and add some crumbled feta cheese over the mushrooms.
Enjoy warm 🙂
NOTE: Polenta doesn’t really keep very well in the fridge so make sure you do not make large amounts of it at a time. These measurements make about 3 portions – or two large ones.
I really enjoy couscous, but I had never come across a wholemeal variety so, I never used to use it. Fibre is so super important that I like to make sure I get enough with every meal. However, I finally found wholemeal couscous from Good Earth a few months back and have been making this ever since.
1 cup wholegrain couscous
1.5 cups boiling water
1 frozen cube of rosemary and olive oil OR two tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon rosemary
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
a couple of handfuls fresh spinach
1 cup of cooked bean, chickpeas and lentils – I had cooked black beans, cooked brown lentils and chickpeas in my pantry so used about a cup’s worth of the three combined. Feel free to add any variety or quantity you would enjoy.
juice of 1 small lemon
1 cup cherry tomatoes
handful slivered almonds – toasted
Add you couscous to a large bowl and immediately add the boiling water, olive oil, rosemary, turmeric and garlic powders. Mix once and allow to cook covered with a clean dish cloth.
In the meantime, prepare all your other ingredients. Chop cherry tomatoes, measure out or cook your beans and lentils or use canned ones – they work well here too – juice your lemon and add spinach then set aside.
To toast your slivered almonds, put a pan on the stove on low heat and add your almonds. Do not add oil or anything else – the fat in the almonds in enough for the almonds to caramelise. Watch these closely because they easily burn.
Once the couscous is cooked – between 15 and 20 minutes – add everything to the same bowl and mix well. Then top with your toasted almonds and enjoy.
Lentil & Chickpea Salad
This is a quick salad that is loaded with nutrients and flavor! And…. the dressing is so yummy you’ll want to drizzle it over EVERYTHING 🙂
200g green lentils
200g chickpeas (1/2 a large can)
2 bell peppers (I use 1/2 of each of a red, orange, yellow and green bell pepper)
1 large marrow
handful of arugula (rocket leaves / rukola) – optional
Ingredients for dressing:
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 heaped tablespoon tahini
1 clove roasted or raw garlic
juice and rind of half a large lemon
salt and pepper
Toasted cashews (optional)
Start by soaking your lentils 45 mins before you start cooking – I normally do this before I head to work – this is not part of the cooking time. But you could also opt for pre-cooked lentils here.
Drain soaking water from lentils and cook in fresh water for about 15-20 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your over to 200 degrees, wash and chop all your veggies (except for the rukola and chickpeas), add to a baking tray and cook for 10 minutes, then grill for an additional 5 minutes. Make sure that if you are using fresh raw beets, that you chop them up into really small cubes as these take a long time to cook otherwise. Then rinse and drain your chickpeas and add to a bowl together with rukola.
While the veggies and lentils are cooking, make your delicious dressing. Start by crushing or mincing your garlic and add this to a small bowl. To it, add the rind and juice from half a lemon, the sesame oil and tahini. Mix everything with a fork until all the ingredients are combined and form a cohesive but runny paste. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Once all your veggies and lentils are cooked, remove veggies from the over, wash and drain your lentils and add everything to your bowl with chickpeas and rukola. Then toss everything with the dressing and enjoy warm of cold. Top with toasted cashews (if using) and munch away!
NOTE: if you are going to make large quantities of this salad, do not mix the ingredients together until it’s time to eat. Otherwise, the rukola will wilt too much and the dressing will make the leaves very soggy. You could leave the cooked and prepped ingredients in the fridge and assemble just before you’re about to eat or omit the rukola entirely
There you have it, three nutritious, really easy, quick meals that make those really busy weeknights so much easier! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these out and what you think of them 🙂
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Sarah’s Healthy Eats – @holisticnutritionninja
As always, if you do try them out, please let me know 😊
Thank you for taking the time to be here and read this ♥️
Until my next post, be well xXx
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